Yesenia Amaro, The Phnom Penh Post
Wed, 16 August 2017
Nine critically endangered Siamese crocodiles emerged from their eggs on Friday, with more expected to hatch soon, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced yesterday.
The nine eggs, which hatched at the Koh Kong Reptile Conservation Center, were among 19 discovered in a nest in late June in Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel district.
The remaining 10 eggs are still being monitored, and a few more are expected to hatch in the coming days, said WCS Communications Officer Eng Mengey.
“It was the first nest recorded in the Sre Ambel River system” in the last 10 years, he said. In 1992, the species was reported as ‘virtually extinct in the wild’, and it has been listed as critically endangered since 1996, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The population of the species is ‘declining at an alarming rate’, according to a statement from the WCS.
“The total population is around 410 wild adults, of which 100 to 300 live in Cambodia, making it the most important country for the conservation of this species.”
The crocodiles will be housed at the centre until they are old enough to survive in the wild. Threats to the species’ survival include illegal hunting, degradation, decrease of natural food supply and weak law enforcement, according to the statement. They are mainly found in remote parts of southwest and northeast Cambodia.
Do you want to let yourself be defined by your possessions or by your job? I mean this as a serious question, because you could identify yourself with your job or your money or your possessions. Or you could identify yourself with your inner qualities and with happiness. It really is up to you. ~ 17th Karmapa
The pigeon has side-mounted eyes, unlike humans and owls which have forward facing eyes. As pigeons have monocular vision rather than binocular vision they bob their heads for depth of perception. The pigeon’s eyes function much better with stationary images and therefore as the pigeon takes a step forward the head is temporarily left behind. The next step jerks the head forward again and so on. This allows the bird to correctly orient itself.
Contentment is a wealth that gives the highest satisfaction, and we can gain it simply by mining our own mental resources, and knowing our own mind. We can cultivate the perspective that what we have is enough. We can see that we do not actually need more than we already have, and can be completely satisfied with that. ~ 17th Karmapa
Phak Seangly and Jovina Chua
The Phnom Penh Post, Fri, 9 June 2017
The increase in commercial dry-season rice cultivation in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap floodplain is threatening the survival of the critically endangered Bengal florican, a new study suggests.
Conducted by researchers from the Imperial College of London, the University of Oxford and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the study, which was published in the international journal of conservation Oryx on May 29, surveyed 616 households in 21 villages on their livelihood activities at the Tonle Sap Floodplain Protected Landscape in Kampong Thom and Siem Reap provinces.
Results showed a sharp increase in the number of farmers who have adopted dry-season rice cultivation since 2005. Among these farmers, almost half grew more than one crop per year.
According to the study, not only does the rice cultivation encroach on breeding areas, agro-chemical use affects the species’ food source.
As opposed to cultivating just one crop per year, which “doesn’t overlap much with the florican breeding season”, the cultivation of two crops annually “means that the fields are flooded throughout the time when the floricans are trying to breed”, WCS’s Senior Technical Advisor Simon Mahood explained in an email yesterday.
He said that the increase in dry-season rice adoption could be attributed to its profitability and reliability.“Irrigation infrastructure has been improved and farming methods have been mechanised, so they are able to grow two crops instead of one,” he added.
With less than 800 of these rare birds left globally, Cambodia is the home of more than half, and is therefore “the most important country worldwide for Bengal florican conservation”, according to the WCS. (more…)